Hello and welcome to our blog! If you haven’t heard by now, we are moving to New Zealand for an extended period of time to work and travel. We want to keep you updated on where we will be and what we will be doing through our blog. It’s always fun to see people’s reactions when we tell them what we are going to do. We have had hardly any negative feedback so thank you to everyone who have been so encouraging and supportive! Instead of reading a long blog, I broke it up into a few common questions people ask us to inform you of the who, what, why, when and where (well, we already got that).
You’re moving to New Zealand? Why New Zealand?
I will follow that question with a question. Have you ever seen a picture of New Zealand?
Dustin had a friend in Nigeria who was from NZ who casually mentioned one time that you can travel the country by picking strawberries. When Dustin mentioned on a date that he thought it would be fun to live abroad the first year of marriage, I was all for it. (maybe that’s why he married me?) After considering some places to live, he started to research the strawberry picking option and found that the country was very traveler friendly and gorgeous…so here we are!
What will you be doing while you are there?
We have found that there are many small, local farms throughout NZ since they can’t import food. There is a program called WWOOF (willing workers on organic farms) that connects local farmers with wandering travelers. The farmers provide food and shelter in exchange for 4-6 hours of work per day. Typically the families ask you to stay for 1-2 weeks and the work widely ranges. We have come across sheep shearing, wine bottling, weeding, fruit picking, horse grooming, child care, cooking, resort house keeping, bed and breakfast chef….the list is endless! It’s fun to think about learning all of these different skills and the funny things that will happen along the way. I love my husband’s attitude toward anything good or bad that might happen…”it’s all a part of the adventure.”
How long will you be there?
Right now our round trip flight is scheduled to come back in March but we have the option to stay for up to 2 years if we really love it. We might be ready to come home in March or we might meet a lot of people that we love and want to stay longer, who knows! Mama Hines has made it very clear that we will not be living there permanently but we have assured her that we love Texas too much to want to stay there.
Are we crazy? Maybe. But what a great story to tell your kids one day! We will forever have this memory of NZ to look back on. We have both been inspired by Donald Miller’s charge to live a better story so I will end with a quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.
“Fear is a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life.” -DM